Located near the small town of Glen Rose, Texas, is the Creation Evidence Museum. We had passed by this museum in late July, 2018, when we visited the nearby state park that had fossilized dinosaur tracks (which we subsequently posted some images of these). Not having time to visit it then, we intended to one day return to the area and see this museum’s artifacts and exhibits. Recently, while viewing an Ancient Aliens episode (possibly a rerun, on the “History” channel – which, by the way, does not show or allow dissenting voices to its rather insipid programming of “official” history), an extraordinary artifact currently at this museum was briefly discussed (see below). This served to prod me to get going and drive the 2 hours to visit this museum. We note in passing here, that the ancient alien theorists now appear to be the high priests of the new, currently fashionable mythos.
theological and philosophical issues
The mission of the museum appears to be to instruct visitors on the truth of the Biblical account of the Creation of the Earth. This, of course, immediately puts it at odds with modern science, and provokes some mockery from scientific circles. Be that as it may, the evidence on display at the museum and the video that is played each hour does serve to raise some very thought provoking questions.
The thorniest problem for those who we may call Creationists is that they tend to believe in a short history for the Earth. The Earth, it seems, has only existed for several thousands of years, and not for the assumed 4.5, or so, billions of years. (For a brief discussion of dating methods in geology, see next section below.)
But, taking a step back, perhaps the larger issue concerns a person’s belief in God, and in the Bible. If the Earth is billions of years old, and the Biblical account in Genesis cannot be taken literally, does that mean that we ought not believe in God, or that we do not have a sound foundation for believing in God? As well, if the Old Testament is not completely accurate in all its books and verses (not long ago, we offered some thoughts on this topic), does it follow that all that is in the Bible is suspect, both OT and the New Testament, too? (Personally, I would not rush to that conclusion. It does not have to be an all-or-nothing judgment.) It does seem that for some believers (literalists, “fundamentalists”), their faith is dependent upon the Bible being 100 per cent correct, and literally true in every verse and passage. For them, there are no allegorical passages in the Bible.
It never bothered me one way or the other which was correct, Creationism or Evolution. An omnipotent, and omniscient God could choose to create the world and the universe in any manner. This debate was not a hill to die on for me.
What of intelligent design?
A growing number of individuals are attracted to the idea of intelligent design, where there seems to be enough clues, and/or coincidences, or evidence to suggest that the universe was created or designed by an intelligent agent. It seems that the universe is fine tuned, so to speak, such that intelligent life could develop. One current debate within this paradigm centers on who or what did the designing. Is intelligent design proof of God, or did aliens from other star systems manipulate the DNA (from high school biology class, deoxyribonucleic acid) of various species to give us the world we have today? (Some folks might opine that Intelligent Design was hijacked by those who believe in ancient alien visitations to Earth.)
It is relatively easy to assign rock strata to different chronological ages. This is known as relative dating, where the lowest rock strata in an area is assumed to be the oldest rock layer, and the topmost layer is assumed to be the youngest. But to find the absolute ages of different layers of rock involves using radiometric dating methods (see links below). One could say that the absolute dating in geology is dependent upon the accuracy of the radiometric methods used. If the assumed half life (1.3 billion years) of Potassium – 40 is incorrect, then dates derived from its use in measuring how old rock strata are would necessarily be incorrect. Can we be confident this methodology is true and accurate?
Dating is critical. The artifact seen on television (see pic below), by viewers around the country of the Ancient Aliens program, shows what appears to be a small hammer or mallet embedded in stone from the Cretaceous geologic age. (This artifact was found in rock strata of the Cretaceous Period.) The age assigned to it and noted on TV was 140 millions ago. Say what?
The dating we choose to accept leads to a dichotomy here. If we accept the view promoted by the museum (Creation Evidence Museum), that the artifact is only thousands of years old, and not many millions of years old, we may want to accept the view that humans and dinosaurs were on the Earth at the same time only several thousands of years ago.
The peculiar thing to note is that the ancient alien theorists do agree here, when considering the significance of this artifact, and suggest that humans and dinosaurs were on the Earth at the same time but during the remote past of 140 million years ago.
And, here it is:
A person could, of course, assert that this artifact is a fake.
The video that is shown hourly at the museum discusses many things. One thing it postulates is the dilation of time such that during the 6 days (solar days) of creation on Earth, as recounted in Genesis, millions and even billions of years may have passed in the distant reaches of the known universe (of today).
Evolution, not surprisingly, is critiqued in some of the museum’s exhibits. The holes, the gaps, the missing evidence in the theory of evolution are pointed out for visitors. And, we ought to point out that evolution is correctly called a theory. Evolution is not like the “laws” of physics and chemistry, and it should not be treated as such. (We note in passing that there may be skeletons and fossils of “giants” hidden away in the basement of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. There are books and articles on such fossil finds in North America in the 19th century. Perhaps, these fossils are locked away because these do not fit the currently accepted narrative in science.)
We may not wish to invest so much faith in the current competency of practitioners of science. A healthy skepticism, and open debate are helpful, to be sure. The Creation Evidence Museum, with its artifacts, exhibits and video presentation, does challenge us to ponder some interesting questions. Each reader can decide for him or herself how much truth is contained in the competing positions, Creationism and modern science.
In part two, we will share some relevant photos from the museum.
. . . . to be continured . . . .
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